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Messages - dcbc

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16
All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction Tips?
« on: October 16, 2013, 07:58:47 AM »
This is how Jeff Renner does his cereal mash for CAP.  I think he has a really big pressure cooker.

I think mine is 20 qt.  With a larger inner container, I could do a pretty sizable decoction in there.

17
All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction Tips?
« on: October 15, 2013, 08:19:09 AM »
Just hate standing over a hot, boiling kettle having to constantly stir for 10+ minutes. It's brutal.

I'm with you there.  I have done it enough and, like Denny, don't know if I think there's a tremendous flavor benefit to it.  The last time I did a decoction, I took stirring out of the mix.  It was a simple mash out decoction for flavor only.  I filled a stainless bowl with thick mash, covered it loosely with foil, and set it in the pressure cooker.  15 minutes at 15 psi and I got some nice darkening to my grist.  Smelled amazing, too.  No stirring, no scorching, no problem.  YMMV

Next time, I'm going to source a larger inner container so I can decoct a larger volume.  This was a good first experiment, however.



About 95% pils malt.

18
All Grain Brewing / Re: stuck mash on Blichmann Top Tier system
« on: August 27, 2013, 01:35:13 PM »
After doughing in or any stirring thereafter, be sure to let things settle for 10 minutes before turning on the pump.  When you do, start slow at first, then increase flow.  The settling is key on my system (perforated false bottom in a kettle).  In following that process, I have never had a stuck mash or sparge.

19
All Grain Brewing / Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« on: August 23, 2013, 07:40:57 AM »
I also long two step Hochkurz type rests at 143 and 158 and mash out.  I have done it both with and without decoction and, ultimately don't notice a huge difference in the end product.


how long on each step?  i've been doing 40min at 145, then ramp up to 158 (which takes 15-20min) and then rest 20 min at 158, then ramp to 168 (again 15-20 min to get there).  what is your process.

I agree on the time for Bopils unlike some of the other lager styles - it does seem to round out around week 8.

I typically do 45 minutes to an hour at both 143 and 158 and hold at 168 for 10 minutes.  Probably overkill holding it so long at 158.  Kai's description said an hour at each temp if I recall, however.

20
Equipment and Software / Re: how to connect to natural gas
« on: August 22, 2013, 01:21:49 PM »
I had about 20 feet of 3/4" black iron pipe run by a plumber from my meter and terminating at a ball valve at the corner of the garage.  I got some 3/4" air hose from Grainger rated for 200 psi (way more than will be seen from NG.  One end is connected to the brew stand, the other end has a gas quick disconnect purchased from McMaster-Carr that connects to the QD on the ball valve on the pipe.  The hose runs 15 feet to the brew stand.  This does a fine job of delivering gas to my 3 20 tip wok burners.

I have used this hose for well over two years without issue.  You can stand on it and it will keep its shape (but I try never to stand on it).  Of course, it is not stated in the product description that it can be used for natural gas.  But it has no problem handling with pressure and is only used as a jumper during brewing.  When the burners are not being used, the gas is turned off at the valve before the hose. 

As with anything, proceed with necessary caution. 

Link to the hose

https://www.grainger.com/Grainger/wwg/search.shtml?searchQuery=3JT78&op=search&Ntt=3JT78&N=0&GlobalSearch=true&sst=subset



21
All Grain Brewing / Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« on: August 22, 2013, 01:05:35 PM »
Agreed.  My German pils, dortmunder and helles are good to go at 4 weeks.  Bopils is a different animal.

22
All Grain Brewing / Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« on: August 22, 2013, 12:33:51 PM »
I read that article in the morebeer link back when I was working on a recipe.  That hopping schedule, pitching/fermentation temp, and two hour boil are each part of my process.  I also long two step Hochkurz type rests at 143 and 158 and mash out.  I have done it both with and without decoction and, ultimately don't notice a huge difference in the end product.


As for water treatment, it's your beer, do with it as you please.  That article says "they must adjust the water during the mash," but does not say with what be it acid or salts.  I always adjust the mash with acid, but as for adjusting the water profile from RO, I have done it with minimal added mineral content to mimic the Pilsen water as well as adding CaCl2 or Gypsum to the boil.  In my case, surprisingly, a gypsum addition resulted in a beer that was the closest by my palate, but all were very good.  But the only way to really know is to try a variety of approaches and judge for yourself.

With this style, the biggest contributor to that distinct Czech pils flavor is time.  The flavor from the saaz hops changes pretty drastically at about the 6--8 week point.   

23
All Grain Brewing / Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« on: August 21, 2013, 01:45:59 PM »
As far as bopils water goes, are we operating under the assumption that the Czech brewers are not adding gypsum or CaCl2?  I can't remember where I read it, but at some point back when I was really chasing this style and brewing it a lot, I was told to add some gypsum even though, as Martin mentioned, intuitively, the result would seem to be a harsher/dryer (more German Pils) bitterness.  Contrary to what I assumed, the result was much closer to the Czech Pilsners than I ever got using CaCl2 or trying to mimic the "single digit" Pilsen type water profile (and I tried it all).  It may be that 50 ppm is still a pretty low concentration for sulfates and doesn't contribute tremendously at that concentration to the crisp bitterness with which it is associated.

24
All Grain Brewing / Re: Water build for Czech Pils
« on: August 20, 2013, 11:35:17 AM »
I typically blend about 10% of my local tap water in on this style.  My local water is reasonably soft.

If you are going totally RO, then adjust your water with acid for a mash pH of around 5.4.

Adjust your sparge water for a pH of about 5.7.

Add gypsum to the kettle (boil) to get above 50 ppm Ca and 50 ppm SO4.  You can add other salts to raise other minerals into the single digits if you want to mimic Pilsen water.  Since I blend in some of my water, I don't bother with this.

I know 50 ppm SO4 sounds contrary to what everyone says about Pilsen water, but it gets much closer this way in my experience.

Finally, if you are going 100% RO, add a yeast nutrient to the boil (at the end).  You want some zinc in the water and RO isn't going to have it.

I'd suggest a two hour boil as well.  I pitch at 39 F and let is rise to 45 F.  The bopils yeasts are slow fermenters..

25
I have done decoctions in the past and have not noticed much difference versus a single or multistep mash on my direct fired RIMS system.  However, I did a nice lazy man's mash out decoction on a helles recently using a stainless bowl inside my 20 qt pressure cooker.  May have added about 45 minutes to the brew day and helped me get to mash out more quickly.  We'll see if I notice a flavor difference.



This is mostly continental Pilsner malt (post decocation).


26
Equipment and Software / Re: Pump disconnects
« on: August 09, 2013, 09:32:42 AM »
Having used both polysulfone and the stainless camlocks, definitely go for the ss camlocks.  Male on the pots and pumps, female on the hoses.  The only advantage of the polysulfone QDs is the lack of heat transfer.  Brewhardware has some female camlocks with wider nipples now if you have flow concerns.  I have only had mine back up once in over a year or so of use.  So probably a nonissue. 

I switched after I melted one of my polysulfone male QDs. 

27
Going Pro / Re: New Texas law?
« on: July 09, 2013, 12:18:12 PM »
I like Jester King's response to all of it.  Switch over to a brewpub license.  Cap production at 10,000 bbls per year, self distribute 1,000 bbls per year, and have a distributor sell the rest.  I think they were at 1,400 bbls last year.  Now they can charge for beer in the tasting room and sell bottles to go.  Their model, with lots of barrel aging, really lends itself to this. 

28
Equipment and Software / Re: burner control
« on: July 02, 2013, 09:27:42 AM »
If you're not too comfortable wiring up controllers, the tower of power controllers work extremely well.  I have two (one on the MLT and one on the HLT). 

29
Going Pro / Re: New Texas law?
« on: March 28, 2013, 08:16:00 AM »
That appears to be the case with the language in 639 on the price fixing, which is was rightly excised.  SB 639 (now tied to SBs 515--518 a/k/a/ the good bills) has passed the senate and is now in the house.

This is a pretty good summary of it.  Good for brewpubs and large breweries like St. Arnold and Real Ale, which have already sold their major market distribution rights.  Stinks for most of the rest of Texas Craft Brewers despite the good bills, 515--518.

http://blog.mysanantonio.com/food/2013/03/laws-reforming-texas-beer-laws-pass-to-full-senate-but-upset-some-brewers/

30
Going Pro / Re: New Texas law?
« on: March 20, 2013, 01:04:03 PM »
Here's my attempt to summarize what's going forward here in Texas.  There are basically 3 bills.  Two are good.  They would allow production breweries to sell beer directly to consumers without having to deal with previous restrictions that required them to give beer away with the tour for the price of the tour, the glass, etc.  The other would allow brewpubs to distribute. 

Here's the problem.  SB639 has now been tied to these other two bills.  This is the bill that prohibits manufacturers, i.e. breweries from (1) charging different prices to different distributors and (2) (this is the really bad one), receiving payment from distributors in exchange for their territorial distribution rights.  In other words, the breweries, who could have previously sold these rights to distribute their beer in a territory, for example, in the Houston area, now have to give the rights to the distributors.  Of course, the distributor who has been given these rights, can turn around and sell them to another distributor.  Basically creates less incentive among breweries in the state to try to grow their brand.  There may be a way around it (kind of like getting around the tasting room rules), but it's just a bad law.  I could see the breweries charging a "convenience fee."  Worked for Ticketmaster.

Also, I think they are working to up the bbl cap that would allow the brewery to self distribute, but, in turn, lowering the amount of beer that can, in fact, be self distributed to 40,000 bbls.  This does not seem to be as big of a deal since it does not make much sense for a brewery to try to self distribute that much beer. 

This is my understanding of things.  Word is that it will probably pass.  It has support from the distributors, obviously.  That's a lot of lobbying money.  The breweries who are spearheading this stand to benefit more than the smaller breweries that haven't had a seat at the table for as long.  Good for the brewpubs.  Good for the already widely distributed breweries like St. Arnold who have already been paid for the lion's share of their distribution rights.  Not so good for pretty much all the other smaller breweries who are in the early stages and are still mostly self distributing.

Distributors and Texas legilators laughing and patting each other on the backs on this one.  Hope it doesn't pass.  Time will tell

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